Sabrina placed on 3-day remand

ACC to start inquiry against her soon, 4 cases filed against JKG so far 

Staff Correspondent | Published: 12:56, Jul 13,2020 | Updated: 23:57, Jul 13,2020


Police take JKG Healthcare chairman Sabrina Sharmin Hossain to Dhaka metropolitan magistrate court on Monday in a case filed over issuing fake COVID-19 test certificates. — Sourav Lasker

JKG Health Care chairperson Sabrina Arif Chowdhury was sent on a three-day police remand on Monday over the charge of preparing fake COVID-19 certificates without testing samples.

Six other current and former JKG officials and employees, including her husband Ariful Islam Chowdhury, the chief executive officer of the NGO, have already made statements before the court in the case.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Commission has decided to launch an inquiry against Sabrina for her alleged involvement in a private business operation despite being a government physician.

Sabrina, also a cardiac surgeon at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, was taken to the DMP Tejgaon division deputy commissioner office on Sunday for interrogation.

She was later shown arrested in a COVID-19 certificate forgery case filed with the police station.

Hasnat Khandakar, inspector (operation) of the police station and also the investigation officer of the case, said that he produced Sabrina before the court on Monday with a prayer for a four-day remand to grill her.

Metropolitan Magistrate Shahinur Rahman granted a three-day remand, reported our court correspondent.

In the remand prayer, the IO said that Sabrina, as the chairperson of JKG Health Care, was directly involved in issuing fake COVID-19 test reports and therefore needed to be remanded for finding out vital clues to the matter and also for ascertaining the whereabouts of others responsible.

Sabrina, however, claimed before the court that she was no longer the chairman of JKG and was not involved in the certificate scam.

The health ministry has suspended Sabrina from the post of registrar doctor at the NICVD, hours after she was arrested, for violating government rules.

Following Sabrina’s arrest, DMP Tejgaon Division DC Harun-or-Rashid said that people previously arrested had confirmed during their interrogation that she was the JKG Health Care chairperson and was informed of their activities.

Besides, Sabrina had been using a mobile SIM card for a long time which was registered in the name of one of her patients, said investigators, but, they added, she claimed that she did not know the name for which the SIM card was registered.

Police said that it was a major crime because she could easily try to deny liabilities by committing crimes using the SIM card.

DMP Tejgaon police station OC Md Salauddin Mia said that they would investigate Sabrina’s uses of the mobile phone SIM card.

He said that there were at least four cases filed with the police station against JKG Health Care.

The first one was on COVID-19 certificate forgery, another on charge of vandalism in the police station in which 18 were arrested.

Two more cases were also filed against JKG for committing fraudulent acts as they cheated people buying equipment in the prevailing COVID-19 crisis.

Meanwhile, ACC director for public relations Pranab Kumar Bhattacharjee on Monday said to reporters, ‘Following complaints from different sources and media reports, the commission decided to launch an inquiry against her [Sabrina].’

He said that officials would be assigned to conduct the inquiry within a day or two, adding that the physician’s assets would also be scrutinised.

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